One of the Xbox Live Arcade games released over the summer, I finally had a chance to check it out. If you haven’t heard anything about this one, here’s a short summary:

Featuring Avatar FameStar! Wreckateer uses the Kinect to put you in control of a massive castle-wrecking Ballista. With the help of Wreck and Tinker, use 6 magic projectiles to travel the land and destroy 60 castles.

Overview

It’s basically a puzzle/strategy game that uses Kinect. I’ve noticed a lot have said it’s similar to Angry Birds, but it’s really not in my opinion, and I’ll tell you why in the review. Anyhow, it’s not a bad game, but it’s not a great game either.

The Menu

The menu isn’t overly congested, however uses a similar Dance Central style menu but definitely needs some perfecting. Anyhow, the menu items consist of Resume where you left off, Single Player, Multiplayer, Avatar Fame Star, Download Content, Achievements, Leaderboards, Help & Options and last, to Exit the game. As usual, I’ll detail each.

Single Player

Single player allows you to conquer all 60 levels, which is more or less the campaign mode. There is a slight point to the game, work for a king then you get revenge on him for slave driving you. Anyhow, the first couple of levels are basically tutorials and show you how to play the game. There are a total of 10 towns, each consist of 5 main levels that you have to complete. The way the game is played is you have a ballista/catapult, and you have to grab it, pull it back and aim by turning. You fire by lifting your arms to each side. It actually works quite well. The objective is to destroy as much of the castles as you can because they are infected with green goblins.

You obtain all types of different shots, ranging from basic, flying, splitter, bomb, speed, and a lifter shot. The basic shot is just a plain old rock. The flying shot turns into this jet propelled thing that you can direct using your arms. The splitter turns into 4 smaller rocks and you can control them with your gauntlets that you obtain during the tutorial. The bomb shot you can detonate whenever you want or it will detonate itself. The speed shot can be activated and shoots like a bullet. The lifter shot allows you to boost up the ball in the air, up to 3 times.

During your campaign, you will learn about special icons. There are point icons that are worth 5K or 10K additional points, and then there are special icons that do different things to your shots. You can also hit some dynamite on the walls to get some bigger explosions. Anyhow, some of the special shots are speed shots, some are lifter shots and there’s a few others. After you start your destruction reign, you get rated based on the amount of damage you do and gain a score from it. Luckily, there is a multiplier in each castle, ranging from 3x to 6x. Medals are awarded based on your score and you can earn a bronze, silver or gold. Obtaining gold medals in each town, you unlock the bonus level which the only objective is to score as many points as possible, which gives you your additional 10 levels.

Also throughout the destruction campaign, if you happen to hit a goblin, you earn mulligans. Mulligans allow you to redo your previous shot without any penalties. Another note with your gauntlets, you can use them to spin the shot to either go up, left, down and right. There’s also little bonus badges, such as destroying a home earns you a home wrecker bonus. The only other options in the single player mode are to choose a level and load a playlist which allows you to create a playlist of your favorite maps.

If you haven’t seen any gameplay yet or tried the demo, I did make a video but I also wanted to test out my new HD recording device 🙂 Anyhow, I just did one level with 4 different shots to give you an idea, check it out below:

Multiplayer

Multiplayer isn’t much different from the single player mode except 2 players take turns destroying their own castles and the highest score wins. I’m not sure if it would have made for a more exciting challenge to take down the same castle, but it may have been another idea to add into multiplayer. Unfortunately that’s all it is and it does not matter to the campaign mode if you are trying to unlock all of the towns.

Avatar Fame Star

This feature is the first title I have played with it, and it seems to span across a few Arcade games that are out. Challenges you accomplish in the game add to your FameStar rewards across all of the games. I didn’t check out what I won, but I believe it’s just Avatar unlocks. You can click here for more information regarding it.

Anyhow, there are a few things in this section which include FameStar Challenges, FameStar Rewards, FameStar Leaderboards, Recommendations which are just more games that offer FameStar and Avatar FameStar Help which has a text description of everything for you to review.

Download Content, Achievements and Leaderboards are all self-explanatory. Help & Options has your Settings, How To Play, Change Primary Profile and Credits. Under Settings you can adjust the Music/SFX Volumes, Kinect Tuner, Calibrate Play Space and Change your storage device.

Conclusion

This isn’t too bad of a puzzle/strategy game but I couldn’t really relate it to Angry Birds. The main issue I have with this one is the actual physics. When a piece of castle falls on another piece, it barely does anything, if anything, whereas in Angry Birds, if you barely nudge something, it starts a chain reaction. I think this game would have been so much better with more realistic physics and probably more challenging castles, but for what it is, it’s not too bad. It also has a different aspect with all of the types of different shots as well as getting the bonus icons. If they run another half off deal on it, you may want to pick it up.


This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Wreckateer
Scoring policy: What do these game review scores actually mean?